Cribs: Get behind the scenes of Renfrow Farms, a working farm within the I-485 loop

Cribs: Get behind the scenes of Renfrow Farms, a working farm within the I-485 loop
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As a corporate runaway, I find a lot of these Cribs to be a little too grass-is-greener.

You salivate over the bright photos of another office, perhaps send out a resume since the color palette on the walls looks a bit more inviting than your office, and maybe even land the job.

Only later do you realize that while the cubicles may be two inches bigger, your new employer doesn’t (gasp!) have a single serve coffee machine. You might be drinking a cup from a shared pot that’s an hour old. All of a sudden, things aren’t looking any greener.

Thus, I asked the Axios Charlotte if I could feature a business where the grass is in fact greener – Renfrow Farms in Matthews.

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Renfrow Farms fast facts

Renfrow Farms is part of Renfrow Hardware in downtown Matthews. The farm is located just a few blocks from the hardware store.

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Renfrow Hardware itself is a 115-year-old business that’s now on its fifth generation of Matthews-based owners. The first three generations were Renfrows. David Blackley, who worked closely with former owner Frank Renfrow, bought the store as Frank had no descendants to pass it down to.

The initial sale of the store did not include the farmland. Frank left the land to the store when he passed away in 2010. The land had not been farmed in several decades. Work began in 2011 (and is still ongoing) to re-cultivate the land.

In 2013, Pressly Williams, David’s daughter, took over management of the farm when she graduated from NC State.

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Today, the farm provides Matthews residents with farm fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. You can buy their produce at their farm stand or via their quasi-CSA program (Sign-up for their newsletter for more details).

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Produce from Renfrow Farms

Photo courtesy of EA Decker Photography

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So, why does all of this matter? It’s not like I’m going to open a farm.

Very true. But perhaps you envision turning a plot of land in your backyard into a garden. Renfrow Hardware and Farms can help you do that. They have all the supplies you need in the store to get planting. Plus, with the hands-on knowledge they have from managing a farm, they can advise you in the process. They even offer gardening classes (some through SkillPop).

Besides, isn’t it nice to see what life’s like outside of corporate America every once in a while? Oh, and they get to play with wicked power tools in the hardware store. Let your Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor be jealous.

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Cover image courtesy of EA Decker Photography

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